Disappointed by apathy
From: Jennifer L. Holland
Editor's note: This letter is addressed to Sen. Philip Jimeno.
As a 14-year-old high school student and citizen of Anne Arundel County, I am disappointed by your lack of determination with the Route 100 and Route 10 merger tree-replenishment project.
I thought the point of planting trees to replace the ones cut down was to grow thriving trees. On the contrary, all I see in that field along Route 100 are wooden poles. Could this barren, forgotten land be a clue to how hard the state is working to help the environment? The percentage of how many trees did not mature is disgusting.
When you start a project like this, be sure to follow through with your efforts. Just because they were planted does not mean your job ends. You should see to it that the proper care is given to these trees. Otherwise, we would be right back where we started.
If you do not act now, who will? As an elected official, you have the power to do something about our Earth's future.
As a young environmentalist and soon-to-be voter, I am totally discouraged by your apathy on this otherwise beneficial act.
Tip for bicyclists
From: John T. Overstreet Jr.
Chairman, Safety Awareness
Baltimore Bicycling Club
May is National Bicycle Month and a good time to re-emphasize bicycle safety. Anne Arundel County will proclaim May 25-29 as Bicycle Safety Week.
In 1991, Maryland had 1,404 reported bicycle-vehicle crashes, and 125 occurred in Anne Arundel County; 1,319 bikers were injured as results of these crashes. There were nine fatal accidents in the state, none in Anne Arundel.
Hints for bicyclists:
1. Always wear an ANSI or SNELL-approved helmet, gloves and protective eye wear.
2. Carry packages only in baskets, panniers or handlebar bags.
3. Carry children only in properly fitted carriers and trailers. Also, make sure the children wear approved, well-fitting helmets.
4. Keep all equipment in good working condition. Inspect your bike before going on a ride for unsafe conditions: brakes, chain, tires and loose parts.
5. Carry a basic tool and repair kit, and know how to make basic repairs.
6. Use a bright headlight, tail-light and reflectors, and wear white or retroreflector garments when driving at night to be as visible as possible.
7. Slow down when approaching curves or blind spots in the roadway.
8. Ride according to your ability. Before riding, know the terrain and approximate mileage of your ride.
9. Alert fellow bikers and pedestrians that you are to their rear and about to pass them. Say, "On your left," before you pass.
10. Take a course on bicycle safety to make yourself a safer, more confident cyclist.
11. The bicycle is a vehicle when on the roadway and must obey the same laws.
12. When bicycling in the Naval Academy, all bikers are required to wear a helmet. Helmets are also required for all youths in Allegany, Howard and Montgomery counties.
Safety is a team effort. Happy cycling!
Widen Mountain Road
From: James R. Morrison
I was witness to a minor accident during evening rush hour on lower Mountain Road involving a car and a bicycle. When I left the scene, all was going well with no evident serious injuries, the police and an ambulance were in attendance, and the driver was saying, in effect, "Look, folks, sorry, it was my fault."
I think he was feeling particularly badly because the accident knocked a young lady off the jump seat of a bike being ridden very slowly and carefully by her father. Her head bounced off the pavement -- and nobody likes to be involved in something like that.
I have driven lower Mountain Road every day since then and surveyed the area where the accident took place (in front of Colonial Apothecary). This has changed my view of why the accident took place. I now believe it never would have happened if it were not for poor roadway design at that point.
For some reason, the road narrows there by about 2 feet on the north side for a distance of about 150 feet. This narrowing caused the designers to do away with the shoulder, which everywhere else on lower Mountain Road is marked off with a solid white line.
This means that someone heading west on a bicycle has a choice: Either ride your bike in the vehicle lane with the cars, or cross over to the south side and ride against traffic on the shoulder which is marked off.
In the case of this accident, the father did not want to take his little girl into the vehicular traffic lane. He chose instead to ride facing traffic on the demarcated shoulder.
The problem then was that the gentleman leaving the Apothecary parking lot in his car only thought to look to his left for traffic coming down Mountain Road, which is the normal direction to look in. Crash!
If nothing is changed, this will not be the only accident there.